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Continued from p. 2

Zen, Christian Teachings and Krishna Consciousness

Conversation with Professor Dürckheim, German Spiritual Writer, June 19, 1974, Schloss Rettershof, Germany

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

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Prabhupada: There is a verse. Narayana-parah sarve na kutashchana bibhyati [Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.17.28]. If one is God realized soul, he is not afraid of anything. Svargapavarga-narakeshv api tulyartha-darshinah. So actually, if one is self-realized, he is no more fearful or concerned with the bodily necessities of life. That is liberation. Just like as you mentioned sleeping. Sleeping also, a bodily necessity. When you are tired, you sleep. That is bodily necessity. But it is not spiritually necessary. About the Gosvamis it is said, nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau: "Conquered over sleeping, eating, mating." That is also one of the symptoms of self-realization. These things are necessities of the body. So the more one is advanced in self-realization, these things will be minimized: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. And gradually it will come to nil because this is bodily necessities. Self, the active principle, that is different. The active principle necessity is different. That is Krishna consciousness, God consciousness. But these are bodily necessities: eating, sleeping, mating. So, so long this body is there, of course, we must eat, we must sleep. That is required. But the more we advance, these necessities diminished. Yes. Bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.42]. Then sleeping will be considered a waste of time. A self-realized man goes to sleep. He thinks that "I am going to waste so much time, because still I am subjected to the necessities of this body." He regrets.

Professor Dürckheim: The progress of self-realization is a sequence of experiences, isn't it, of inner experiences?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: The progress of self-realization is a progress of inner experiences.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: And I do believe that at the actual moment still, the treasure in the European peoples, the different peoples, who went through the war, through concentration camps, through battlefields and bombing nights, are hidden in their hearts certain moments when death was near and they were wounded and nearly torn in pieces. Because they had a certain experience they survived. And again and again, when I give a lecture, I have two or three people, waiting, telling me, "Now you just reminded me an experience long ago, ten days ago, two months ago, when I thought I was a little bit crazy, and now I understand it has been the experience, perhaps the most important of my life, on which I should have built my future inner way." And these experiences are still there. And once people understand, they don't need a war and a battleship and a concentration camp and a bombing night to take serious certain inner experiences when they are suddenly are touched by this divine reality, and they suddenly feel that this bodily existence is not lasting at all.

Prabhupada: That's it. That we can experience every night.

Professor Dürckheim: Yes, exactly.

Prabhupada: When we dream, my body is left on the bed and I go somewhere. That we experience, that I am separate from this body. At that time I forget my, this body is lying down on the bed. I am acting in a different atmosphere. So and again, in daytime, I forget that at night I was in a different body, and I went to such and such place or on the sky I was flying. I forget. At night I forget this body and at daytime I forget that body. But I am existing. Therefore I am not this body. I am existing in this body and that body, but that body I have forgotten, and this body I forget. So this is a structure on my mind only. Actually I am different from the mind. And that is self-realization. That is described in the Bhagavad-gita. Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah [Bhagavad-gita 3.42]. [to Satsvarupa:] Find out this verse. Manasas tu para buddhir buddhes tu yah sah. That's it. It is in the Third Chapter, I think.


indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah
[Bhagavad-gita 3.42]

"Translation: The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he, the soul, is even higher than the intelligence."

Prabhupada: This is description.

Professor Dürckheim: May I put a question to the question of time, the meaning of time? I think there are two ways to look at time and to look at eternity.

Prabhupada: Time is eternal. Time is eternal, but we calculate time, past and present and future, according to my temporary material existence. Just like a small ant. The ant's past and present is different from my past and present. I am a human being. I live for hundred years. So my past and present is different from the ant who lives for, say, a few hours.

Professor Dürckheim: Is different from?

Prabhupada: From the ant, a small living entity. And similarly, Brahma, his past, present, is different because he has done millions and millions of years as one day. So the time is eternal, but according to our condition, occupying the time and space, we calculate past and present and future. Otherwise time itself is eternal.

Professor Dürckheim: Well, now I question you. You see, talking about eternity, there are two meanings or concepts at the same time. The one is that the finite life is going on infinitely, infinity, millions of years. That is one way to think about eternity.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: But there is another one.

Prabhupada: Eternity means, we say, no beginning no end. That is eternity.

Professor Dürckheim: Isn't there also this other one, when, for instance, Christ says, "I am before Abraham was," this "I am." There is one kind of eternity which has nothing to do with past and future at all, which is beyond past and future.

Prabhupada: Past and future is concerned with this body.

Professor Dürckheim: Is concerned with this body. It is concerned, exactly, with this body and with this ego, with regard to which there is a before and an after, up and down. And if you take away this ego, what's there, what's left?

Prabhupada: That is pure ego. Now I am born Indian, say, seventy-five years ago, or seventy-eight years ago, and I have got this Indian body, I have got this false ego that "I am Indian; I am this body." This is misconception.

Professor Dürckheim: That is one way to look at time.

Prabhupada: Time is there, but because I have got this temporary body, I am thinking past, present, future. The temporary body will vanish. I shall get another temporary body. Then again my begins past and present. So therefore this is called illusion. Time is eternal. It has no beginning, no end, but we transmigrate from one body to another. We are calculating, miscalculating, past, present, future.

Professor Dürckheim: Yes, time has no beginning and no end. But time in this second sense has nothing to do with beginning and end.

Prabhupada: It has no end, beginning, no end. The beginning and end is of this body. And in relationship with this body, we are calculating past, present, future.

Professor Dürckheim: But without this body, you wouldn't become conscious of what is beyond body.

Prabhupada: I am conscious always. Just like in sleep, I am getting different body, but still I am conscious. And daytime, that sleeping body is gone; still, I am conscious. That consciousness is impure on account of our contact with this temporary body. So when you come to the pure consciousness, that is Krishna consciousness.

Professor Dürckheim: But as an experience, the pure consciousness as an experience, has to have a background which is not pure consciousness. Otherwise it could become...

Prabhupada: No. Pure consciousness is actually you are. Just like water. Water is pure. When it is comes from the sky, it is clear crystal water. But as soon as it touches the ground, it becomes muddy. Similarly, we soul, spirit soul, we are pure. As soon as we come in contact with this matter, material existence, we become impure. And there are three stages of impurity: goodness, passion and ignorance. So all of them are impure. Unless one comes to the spiritual consciousness—he may be a very nice man—he is infected with the impurity of goodness. He is thinking, "I am very big man, I am very..." That is also impurity. And another man does not know what he is, just like animal, all the animals. That is also impurity. When both of them will come to the clear consciousness that "I am part and parcel of God; my duty is to serve God," that is Krishna consciousness. So long he identifies with this material consciousness, he is impure. Just like people are fighting: "I am German," "I am Englishman," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am brahmana," "I am shudra"—so many, designations. These designations are impurity. Just like sometimes the artists, they manufacture some statue naked. In France I saw, naked. They take it this naked statue is pure art, not dressed. Similarly, when you come to the nakedness of spirit soul without this designation of this body, "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," that is purity.

Professor Dürckheim: But the meaning of the impure is to be the background of the consciousness of the pure without any experiencing the suffering in the impure.

Prabhupada: The consciousness is covered by impurity, just like your health is covered by disease, and the symptom is fever. But that is a covering. That is not your healthy state. Similarly, my consciousness, when I think that "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," "I am that," that is impurity. And when he thinks that "I am neither German, neither American, nor this nor that. I am part and parcel of God," that is pure consciousness.

Professor Dürckheim: But in order to get there, to feel that one is neither this nor that, one must have suffered by first having thought that one is this or that.

Prabhupada: That suffering is just like you suffer in the dream. You are attacked by a tiger. There is no tiger. Actually there is no suffering. But on account of ignorance, you are thinking, "The tiger is eating me."

Professor Dürckheim: Yes, but this is a very good example because the dream of the tiger comes very often. And it always means that you are pursued by some of your inner instincts, yourself. So you discover in the image of the tiger something which is not right in yourself.

Prabhupada: Yes, that experience is also material. That is not spiritual experience. That experience is going on continually so long we are materially attached. Because in the material world we are constantly changing our body. Your experience in childhood is different from the experience at this time. So as we are changing our body, we are getting different experiences, and all those experiences are photographed within the mind. And they sometimes come out and make an intermixture, and we see dreams and so many contradictory things. This is going on, mental speculation. That is hovering on the mental plane. That is not spiritual plane. That, it is stated:

indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
buddhes tu yah paratah sah
[Bhagavad-gita 3.42]

So we have to transcend the platform of intelligence also. Then we come to the platform of spiritual realization. That is instructed in the Bhagavad-gita. ... So our real business is how to become free from all these designations. Yes. Then we come to the real consciousness. That real consciousness is that "I am eternal. God is eternal. I am part and parcel of God. My duty is to serve God. And now I am serving also. I am not free from service, but I am serving under designation." Just like you went to fight, because you designated yourself that "I am German." This is an example, that "I must fight, give service to my country." Somebody is thinking, "Give service to my community" or "to my family." Or if there is nobody else, at least "to my dog." So this is going on. So we have to close all these designations and become pure and serve God. And that is self-realization.

tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrishikena hrishikesha-
sevanam bhaktir uchyate
[Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya 19.170]

Just like the Arjuna. Arjuna was put into the ba[ttlefield]... You have read Bhagavad-gita, I think, this Bhagavad-gita?

Professor Dürckheim: Yes.

Prabhupada: So he was thinking in terms of designations, that "I am... I belong to the same family. The other side, they are my cousin-brothers. They belong to the same family. So why shall I fight? Let them enjoy." From material point of view it is very good man. But Krishna condemned him. Ashochyan anvashochas tvam prajna-vadan: [Bg. 2.11] "You are talking very high words, but you are fool number one." That is the first, because he was talking on the platform of this bodily concept of life. But after hearing Bhagavad-gita, when he understood that "I am not this body; I am eternal servant of Krishna; my duty is to obey the orders of Krishna," then he fought. Superficially, he remained the same soldier. But in the beginning he was a soldier for his designation of this body, and later on, he became a soldier to carry out the order of the Supreme. That is the difference. So when we act to carry out the orders of the Supreme, that is self-realization, not for this body.

Professor Dürckheim: There is only one way toward peace, through self-realization of those who are responsible.

Prabhupada: Yes. Self-realization, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that one should understand that "I am not enjoyer. Nobody is enjoyer." That is false. They are trying, endeavor, for enjoying this world, and that is false. Real enjoyer is the Supreme Lord. We are trying to occupy this land, that land. "This is Germany. This is England. This is France. This is India. This is my land, worshipable. Land is worshipable. It is my land." But he should know that no land belongs to us. Everything belongs to God. And this is a fact. The land is not created by us. The ocean is not created by us. Then why should we claim, "This is German ocean, and this is English ocean"? This is all false imagination. So when it comes to this understanding, that "Nothing belongs to us..." The United Nations, they are fighting for the last twenty years, but they are fighting on the false ground because everyone is thinking, "This land is mine. I must protect it." So they have no self-realization, and there is no peace.

Professor Dürckheim: As soon two, two men who are realized, there is no war. There is a very wonderful story. When the Emperor of Japan took over the leadership again after having been for six hundred years only the High Priest. Now he wanted to be again the emperor. And he was submitting one dainu [?] after the other one. Only one resisted in Tokyo. General of Tokyo did not submit to the emperor and didn't allow anybody to come in to negotiate. So the emperor was very troubled. He said, "Should I burn down Tokyo? I wouldn't like to do it." And then his young sword [?] master asked him—he was a realized man—"Do you permit me to just ride in this town and see the great general?" And he said, "Yes, you know the guards do not permit." "Let me do." He sat on horseback and just rode through. The guards, like this, let him pass. He announced himself to the great general. General said, "Yes, with him I am going to talk." And the general himself, being a self-realized man said, "Well, all right." In twenty minutes things were in order, and they submitted gently, and without a single shot, peace was established. Because two men of a high level of self-realization met.

Prabhupada: Yes. So that is our point, that if we understand, every one of us realize that we are all servant of God or sons of God, that everything belongs to God, so we can use our Father's property for our maintenance as much as we require, not more than that, so if we think like that, that is Krishnaa consciousness, and there will be no more war, everything peaceful.

Professor Dürckheim: In my work I always feel the great difficulty again and again. That is also there. It's a great difference to believe that you are the son of God and to feel it and to experience it. As long it's only a belief, it's well meaning doing. How to prepare the conditions by which disciples might feel it? That's all of my daily work.                                  Previous Page   |   Next Page

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